Posts Tagged ‘Line drawings’

History of a pavement

November 29, 2010

Hundreds of thousands of people walk on pavements everywhere, every day, each leaving a little bit of their story behind. Mud, dust, wet footprints, a hair, a button, cigarette ends, sweet papers. As the pavements deteriorate and crack little bits of these multiple histories silt up the cracks leaving a residue of people, whose presence there was fleeting, or who have long ago died or moved away. If pavements could tell their stories…..the daily repetition – trudging to work, pushchairs, pub fights, dogs, rain, ice… The Cracks in the Pavement drawings open up their own stories, following the, lines covering them up, reinventing them. These are my little bits of history from Ballycastle in Co. Mayo.



History of a pavement

oil, charcoal and graphite on canvas, 80 x 80 cms

Cracks in the Pavement – sequence of 12 drawings.  pencil on paper, 21 x 21 cms


More drawings of Kerry hills

March 25, 2010

More tonal drawings and less line.

Drawing the landscape and the sea

March 22, 2010

I felt a sudden need to actually make seriously observed drawings of the landscape rather than very quick line drawings.  These are quite big and I am not sure where they are going but I am enjoying them.


Charcoal drawing 145 x 125 cms

December 31, 2008
Large charcoal drawing

Large charcoal drawing

I have just finished this, the largest drawing so far in the series, mapping my walks on Ballinskelligs Beach and the journey back up to Bolus Head.


Dusk light and In Praise of Shadows

December 13, 2008




Whilst thinking about the way my work is going, the three drawings above have all been done in the last couple of weeks, I decided to re-read In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki. I had forgotten how lyrical it was. He talks of the patina granted to metal objects through use, a patina which is prized over shininess. He praises the quality that lamplight imparts and the silence and mystery of alcoves which never see the light of day. These thoughts seem appropriate to the qualities of the charcoal surfaces on which I am drawing. The patina on these drawings, rubbed with paper, speak of time, they are very labour intensive, and the pause between light and dark which happens at dusk or just before dawn. These are the qualities of light which I frequently saw at Cill Rialaig and with which I want to suffuse these drawings.


The immateriality of memory

October 2, 2008

I have been reading about and looking at the work of a German/Venezuelan artist Gego, (Gertrude Goldschmidt, 1912-1994) in a catalogue of an exhibition, ‘Gego, Between Transparency and the Invisible’ at The Museum of Fine Arts Houston in 2005. Essentially a sculptor investigating space and light, Gego also drew. She made very beautiful wire drawings which, when reflected onto the wall behind them created a second set of drawings which are unattainable, ephemeral and ungraspable. It was the quality of transparency which she wanted to capture and they have a poignancy born of their fragility. For me they are evocative of memory which does not exist materially. Truly great drawing has a quality which is impossible to pin down; these drawings are impossible to pin down because in essence they do not exist.

In the studio I made another drawing based on the Cill Rialaig Wall study in my sketchbook and then started to extract tiny marks and series of marks that were on those walls, isolating and enlarging them. The tiny world of Cill Rialaig was the whole world to the people who lived there at the time of Sean O’Conaill, as big as the whole world is today to 21st century well-traveled individuals. These drawings are also about reflection and memory. I enter my own head space whilst I am making them so that only I and the drawings exist and I am oblivious to my surroundings. Memories sometimes become huge, the event remembered, taking on a significance in retrospect that it didn’t have at the time.

Memory Suite 1

A suite of ten small drawings moving across the surface of Cill Rialaig Walls and extracting marks and movements.